This EPP is concentrated on increasing the broadband penetration rate in Malaysia, which will require components such as faster connection speeds and easier provisioning of fiber optic or copper cables.
Among targets set under this EPP include a communication bandwidth of at least 256Kbps, while in 2012 the Government set a target of 65% for broadband penetration. Other initiatives under this EPP include ensuring states gazette the amended Uniform Building By-laws (UBBL or Undang-Undang Kecil Bangunan Seragam) 1984 Act.
The UBBL requires developers to provide communication infrastructure (e.g. internal ducting with copper/fibre cable, external ducting without cables and manhole without cable) for all new housing or commercial developments. In line with this, EPP 7’s efforts will also ensure landed and rooftop sites include wireless infrastructure.
Additionally, the Connected@City programme was introduced to make WiFi available in food and beverage outlets, waiting areas, lobbies and other public meeting places.
The EPP also ensures the adherence of One-Stop Centre (OSC) processes, which governs telecommunications providers who wish to build telecommunication infrastructure. The OSC processes were introduced by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, and allow state Governments to avoid appointing third-party agencies (One-Stop Agency or OSA), as practiced previously.
As part of its broader plans, this EPP will eventually shift its focus from pushing broadband penetration rates to improving quality. This will be achieved by delivering better connectivity speeds. Moreover, the push to increase the availability of WiFi across populated centres will also continue.
Other efforts to be undertaken going forward include improving broadband access for 80% of the populated areas in Greater KL and 30% of seven state capitals (Kuantan, Seremban, Bandar Melaka, Ipoh, Georgetown, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching). This initiative will target a minimum speed of 2Mbps in those areas.
- Household broadband penetration in Malaysia reached close to 70% in 2014.
- LTE wireless broadband coverage is now at 25% of the population.
- Pahang became the latest state to gazette the amended Uniform Building By-laws 1984 Act in 2014, bringing the number of states which have gazetted the amendment to eight.